WOMEN are increasingly more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than men in South Yorkshire.
Statistics released by the Cancer Research UK show that, although there are still more cases of men being diagnosed, the rates for women are increasing, whereas male diagnosis rates are falling.
Currently there are around 1,900 women diagnosed with lung cancer each year in Yorkshire and Humberside, and 2,300 men. It causes around 3,400 in the region each year.
Lung cancer rates in women have risen from 33.9 for every 100,000 in the mid eighties, when there were around 1,100 cases each year, to 47.5 for every 100,000 women now.
Rates in men have been falling to 69.6 per 100,000 men in the region compared with 108 in the mid eighties.
Nationally lung cancer rates in women continue to rise.
Cases of lung cancer reflect smoking rates around two to three decades earlier as more than 80 per cent of cases are caused by tobacco.
Smoking rates for women in Britain were highest during the 1960s, with around 45 per cent of women smoking, but that has now fallen to around 20 per cent.
Male smoking rates peaked at 65 per cent during Second World War, down now to 22 per cent.
The lung cancer rate in men peaked three decades later.
Nicki Embleton, Cancer Research UK’s spokesman for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Lung cancer continues to claim far too many lives. More than four in five cases of the disease are caused directly by smoking. But this means nearly one in five cases is not.”
“It’s really important that anyone with a cough that lasts for three weeks or a worsening or a change in a long-standing cough get this checked out.